What are the factors that influence student participation within a journal club?
Cardiff Metropolitan University
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Background: Evidence-based practice (EBP) is essential in Speech and Language Therapy (SLT). Journal clubs (JCs) have been adopted to support the development of research skills to promote EBP in the workplace and education. A student-led JC was introduced within a four year SLT undergraduate programme one year ago. This was met with poor student interest and participation. Research has evaluated the learning outcomes of JCs. However, there are no published studies that investigate the factors that influence student SLTs to participate within a voluntary JC. Aims: The aim of this study was to explore factors that may influence students’ participation in a non-compulsory journal club. Methods and Procedures: A mixed methods approach was used. Questionnaires were completed by 73 first, second and third year SLT students. The data informed the design of a topic guide and three focus groups were conducted with 12 fourth year students. Participation behaviours in the JC over a 15-week period (3 topics/cycles) were quantitatively recorded. Descriptive statistics were calculated for participation frequencies across all year groups. Outcomes and Results: Student participation within the journal club was poor with the majority of students not participating or showing initial interest but ultimately, not participating. Students in all years desired that the journal club aid their completion of assessments and be tailored to suit the specific needs and motivations of their own year group. Conclusions and Implications: The results demonstrated a discrepancy between students’ learning goals and JC’s aims and objectives. This has prompted recommendations for JC’s future development to ensure it becomes a functional, student-centred learning tool.
B.Sc.(Hons) Speech and Language Therapy
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